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A History Of Adam Sandler's Occasional Detours Into Serious Movies

Updated 23 Dec 2019 7.4k views8 items

Adam Sandler is best known for his unique brand of comedy. He got his big break in 1990 when he was hired as a writer and performer on Saturday Night Live, and he quickly carved out a niche for himself by performing hilarious original songs. Sandler's SNL buzz helped him launch a massively successful film career, coming out of the gate swinging with two back-to-back hits: Billy Madison (1995) and Happy Gilmore (1996). His comedic winning streak continued with The Wedding Singer (1998), The Waterboy (1998), and Big Daddy (1999).

What’s especially interesting about Sandler’s success is the disparity between the critical and commercial reception of his comedy films. Jack and Jill was released in 2011 and made almost $150 million - but it also has a 3% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and some reviews went so far as to call it the “worst movie ever made.” Sandler even poked fun at his poor Rotten Tomatoes scores by naming his 2018 comedy special Adam Sandler: 100% Fresh. (Interestingly, that special was widely praised and earned him a 90% fresh rating on the site). 

The occasional pummeling Sandler receives at the hands of critics makes his intermittent shifts from comedy to drama that much more risky, but nonetheless impressive. It is difficult enough to switch genres because of audience perception, but that hasn’t stopped Sandler from defying the odds and earning industry and audience respect along the way for a few of his dramatic roles.

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